It’s difficult dealing with the state of the world during the COVID-19 pandemic; the economy and your health, both physical and mental, have taken a hit. Ergo here are 5 Ways to be Mindful and Healthy during the Pandemic. Five surefire ways to get you, your body, and your mind back on track to deal with the present situation.
1. Talk to a friend or a family member
Studies have shown that stress can be reduced by talking to friends and family members. Stress can have negative impacts on memory and overwork the brain and an article in the American Society of Aging points out that older citizens have better long-term memory, cognitive functions, and allostatic load when they have a better social life and more friends and family members around. This was noted by Piedmont Healthcare in an article called ‘4 Reasons Friends and Family are Good For Your Health.
Talking to family members and friends help to deal with mental health and give a person more coping mechanisms during hardships.
2.Switch to tea instead of coffee
Tea has less caffeine, this is a known fact but did you know that coffee can drain the body of energy more quickly than tea? Studies have shown that people who drink tea more than coffee have energy that is longer lasting. There are antioxidants in tea; it hydrates your body and skin.
Tea can help reduce stress and it prevents clogged arteries to form which reduces the development of potentially fatal diseases like cancers and tumors. It does wonders for the immune system and helps reduce irritable mood.
3. Read Books
Reading helps your brain stay mentally stimulated and improves cognitive stimulation especially when you are in a time of lockdown and do not have a lot going on. It keeps your brain active and of course, increases knowledge. It gives higher analytical ability and so next time you are reading a mystery/ thriller book and guess what happens before you read it, give yourself a pat on the back.
Reading relieves stress and helps you to fall asleep quicker. A study conducted in 2009 at the University of Sussex found that reading can reduce stress by an amount of 68%. It can even help fight depression. Reading fictional books can make you feel better because it can forge a route that leads to escapism. Reading non-fiction can help you deal with mental health as you read about methods of coping and strategies to deal with grueling moments in life. It gives a sense of peace to your mind.
Reading can contribute to an increase in life expectancy. “People who report as little as a half-hour a day of book reading had a significant survival advantage over those who did not read,” said the senior writer, Becca R. Levy, a professor of epidemiology at Yale in the journal, Social Science and Medicine. “And the survival advantage remained after adjusting for wealth, education, cognitive ability, and many other variables.” This was published in 2016 in an article in The Statesmen called ‘People who read books may live longer.’
We need to sleep as much as we need a proper balanced diet. If you are sleep deprived your body releases higher levels of stress hormones. Sleep also lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels. So those with high blood pressure need to make a habit of getting enough sleep regularly as it can lead to a higher risk of stroke and heart disease.
Sleeping regularly can also help you remember things better and improve your memory. It helps process things better. It may even make you smarter. Catching an afternoon nap can do more than just feel refreshing: it can make you effective, sharp, and alert.
Sleep can impact chemicals in the body including serotonin. A lack of serotonin is more likely to cause depression. Getting good sleep can help fight depression.
5.Reduce salt and sugar intake
Salt is a mineral that is much needed by the body but an excess of it for a long period of time can lead to terrible impacts on the body.
In a time of stress with the terrible situations during the COVID-19 pandemic, it might be better to have a smaller amount of salt. Lowering salt can help lower blood pressure. Packaged products can have a high level of salt and may lead to higher cholesterol levels that have effects like heart disease.
A high sugar intake regularly can lead to type 2 diabetes, heart disease, dental issues, cavities, etc. At a time of boredom, (especially during a lockdown) even though binging on sugary snacks is common we can try to replace them with healthier options that have more minerals and vitamins, e.g. sliced carrots, cucumbers, or if you still want a little sugar intake sliced apples, pears, etc.
Written by: Shomapty Khandaker